Congress outlaws liability for car leasers
Congress stepped in where the New York Legislature wouldn't tread and outlawed the legal doctrine of vicarious liability in car leasing, under which victims of auto accidents could sue companies that provided lease financing.
The provision outlaws vicarious liability for rental companies as well.
Assembly Democrats had blocked action on vicarious liability bills, leaving New York was the only remaining state with unlimited liability.
The provision was included in the massive highway transportation act passed last week. Daniel Feldman, executive director of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, says that his group will analyze the bill to see whether it can be challenged on the grounds that it infringes on state rights.